A peaceful night, a slow start and a lovely environment were enough to convince us fairly quickly to have a rest day at Trephina Gorge.
Having made that unanimous decision, T then suggested that we do one of the walks, and have a late breakfast and coffee. The Gorge walk was about a 2 km loop, theoretically about an hour. We disproved that theory, but intentionally taking time to pause for a rest, whether we needed it or not, to have a chat with fellow walkers (or to let them through!) or to just take in the view. A consistent theme with most fellow walkers was bodies that had ‘cracked up’: tells you something or everything about the demographic.
We did say hello to a European mum and her two children, heavily backpacked, and singing happily. We received only polite hellos in return, perhaps because of D’s comment about the Von Trapp family. A bit later dad came along, and we had a long chat with him before he decided he’d better catch up with the family – they were doing the 9 km one way Ridge Top walk. Not sure which country they were from: ‘European’ was his term, but they were spending a very well thought out two months here. They started in Perth, travelled to Albany, flew to Darwin, then Alice Springs and will spend the last three months in the eastern states. Not a bad way to get an overview, rather than just seeing that eastern seaboard ‘boomerang’.
A slow day followed: D watching birds, T knitting and/or watching birds. A later afternoon stroll to the next campground and then back along the riverbed which yielded some interesting stones, but not the abundant bird life we’d hoped for, although the Pied Butcherbird put in an appearance without serenading us.
That was slightly redeemed on return, when the White Plumed Honeyeaters arrived looking for the water T had placed out for them earlier – after she’d washed her feet and then socks – but had not thrown out. Perhaps they thought it was toe-mater soup? So the bowl was replenished with fresh water and, somewhat cautiously, they came to drink with us as we had our Pinot (T) and Sav Blanc (D).
A group of solo women, we think members of CMCA, has arrived, and their chattering is a perfect complement to the other bird life, albeit louder. There seems to be an issue with someone from a recent gathering: we eavesdrop without intending to and get more of this scandal, but details are few.
Today we saw: Port Lincoln Parrot (just one), Hooded Robin (M & F), White Plumed Honeyeaters galore, Grey Headed Honeyeaters, Torresian Crows, Yellow Fronted Miners, Magpie Larks, Willie Wagtails and the Pied Butcherbird.
Maps have been discussed and tomorrow we’ll start the southern drive along the Stuart to Adelaide. How many days? The road offers a number of formal rest areas and we know that we can basically pull off wherever the terrain offers some screening. Look out wedgies, here we come.